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Constitutional Law

NY Fed.Court: Starbucks Can’t Stop Coffeehouse from Selling “Charbucks” Coffee

Starbucks received a big legal blow last week when the Second Circuit (NY’s Federal Appeals Court) held that use of the phrase “Charbucks” by a New Hampshire coffeehouse does not dilute the “Starbucks” trademark. The Black Bear Coffee Micro Roastery in New Hampshire began marketing “Charbucks Blend” and “Mister Charbucks Coffee” in 1997 and was […]

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Copyright Law

To the Cronut Come the Trolls!

In May of this year, Chef Dominique Ansel of Dominque Ansel Bakery in Manhattan, came up with a new product that combined the laminated dough of a croissant with the shape and sweetness of a donut. He came up with and trademarked a catchy name for the item: The Cronut. Like so many things in […]

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Copyright Law

Getty Images Pays $100K to Settle Car-Freshener Suit

Last month, stock photo giant Getty Images paid $100,000 to Car-Freshener Corp., makers of those ubiquitous tree-shaped air fresheners. Getty Images had several stock photos for license and sale in their catalog that included the famous trademarked fresheners. The federal lawsuit was filed in November 2009 and was reported on in this blog in October […]

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General

So You Think You Can Trademark?

Because most folks are unclear about what a trademark actually is or how it can help protect your business and because not a week goes by that someone doesn’t call me with a great idea they want to “trademark” I thought I would draft a quick basic guide to trademark that should address the most […]